Tom’s Thought Process

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    Wasn’t there mention of a monkey with the demon weed dealer on Earth? And yes, I recognized the description of the monk as it screamed Monkey King aka Journey to the West.


    One of the problems with Tom is that he is only reactive. Story-wise if a problem occurs then someone brings it to his attention and then he gives the order to resolve it. Of course, he was like this Book 1 & 2 so it is nothing new.

    For example, he is told about the Doomalogues and approves the opening of the rest. However, he has yet (and really the timeline is too short) to establish an overall strategy, goals, or even objectives for Doompire beyond vague promises of making those that betrayed them pay (sort of). This is going to bite him very very soon.

    He really needs to be more proactive or he is going to fade and become the NPC giving quests to the heroes. Okay, crappy analogy, but still.


    [size=9]The reason why I am able to accept Tom’s view on his Orcus memories is the fact that he is an American or a person raised in a western culture. I am Indian, so as an Indian Christian it’s even easier to see why Tom would not believe in reincarnation. If you are raised on the belief that after death you go to heaven or hell then it is not entirely unreasonable for you to not accept reincarnation. In India due to the prevalence of hinduism and its theory of seven reincarnations each dependent upon the karma you make I find it easy to swallow the story of Tom being a reincarnation of Orcus completely reasonable. So in a way I find Tom’s conjectures kind of irrational and at the same time I do not know if TAG is leading up for time travelling or some sort of a paradox to show up in the middle of the series. Also having multiverses means there are several versions of Tom scattered throughout the universe(Physics is not my strong suit so I might be wrong here) [/size]


    I want to clarify that, in regards to Asian mythology, I was more referring to animism as “the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena”. As in, trees have souls which appear as nymphs, rivers are the physical bodies of dragons, and old pots and stuff eventually develop a soul after a century or so. Particularly, it is the anthropomorphism of beings and objects which don’t normally have that quality.

    This is not something we see in the Astlan world, as inanimate or non-sentient creatures aren’t shown to have any consciousness greater than what is accepted by science.

    Also, if you want to add a more Asian influence, I would suggest starting to diversify your demons. Get more oni, youkai, all of those ogres and rakshasas.

    Though, now that I think about it, what would happen if someone did the demon summoning ritual on the soul of an animal or plant? Maybe there’s some demonic flaura and fauna that you’re overlooking! (Though, there are the hellhounds. If there are magical beasts like that, why aren’t there huge packs of them living wild? I mean, they would still have their biological imperative to breed, and aren’t hunted, and very hard to kill, so…)


    [quote=The Author Guy;4065]Yes, the monkey monk will be able to help him greatly when/if he shows up.

    I assume people know who the monkey monk is? Singkûn? (the phonetic spelling)

    I did get hit at some point, some where, about my focus on western deities. Although I’d say Singkûn is more of a semi-deity. He is well known to be an immortal, so good enough for me.

    I sort of envision the Rod of Tommus as being like Singkûn’s Rod or Thor’s Hammer, very heavy for non-owners.

    To be fair, Asian mythos have a lot of different emphasis than European mythos. More ancestral worship, emperor veneration, and animistic spirits rather than pantheons and gods. Additionally, their scriptures are more like philosophies than religions, more useful rather than inspiring. Also, they weren’t as big on conversion as Christianity or the Greek/Romans.

    I certainly got the reference to the Monkey.

    As for the Rod of Tommus, does it use geomantic force to resist the hold of anyone else other than Tom?

    As for the monkey, I just reread that the person who sold the weed to Reggie was smoking it in a pipe.


    Yes, the monkey monk will be able to help him greatly when/if he shows up.

    I assume people know who the monkey monk is? Singkûn? (the phonetic spelling)

    I did get hit at some point, some where, about my focus on western deities. Although I’d say Singkûn is more of a semi-deity. He is well known to be an immortal, so good enough for me.

    I sort of envision the Rod of Tommus as being like Singkûn’s Rod or Thor’s Hammer, very heavy for non-owners.


    The AII would end up being like Ruiden is (or should be) to Talarius.

    On the animism of Eastern religions, this is actually very much like shamans and druids in astlan.

    There are different strains of shamanism and druidism, different schools but many of them are very animistic.

    And in fact, all of animus is literally animisitic. Remember, Tom can see animus in plants and animals, at least in the dark; it is weak but there. This is animism.

    And in fact one might argue animages are also animistic, just far less mystical, more scientific.

    I could in fact argue that much of the worldset of Astlan is animistic and that these “gods” are a group of people imposing themselves upon the world, bigger stronger manipulators of mana and animus, with incredible egos that need to be worshipped.


    I’m having trouble buying it. I keep reminding myself that Tom is still young. But his response to Orcus’ memories are hinging on Astlanian Wizard/Talarius twists of logic to make himself feel better. Im not sure what your setting up for. But perhaps theirs a different manner of expressing his disbelief. Because their are some very logical arguments as to that situation and it just feels like the straws he’s grasping at are thin indeed. Maybe thats intentional, but maybe if so their can be some foreshadowing or something of him realizing that deep down?

    Another thing that particularly pinged my interest is his response to finding the library of doom, particularly the portrait gallery. He made no real passing thought to actually going to see the portraits of his enemies. I fully understand putting it off after realizing that hey, he probably IS orcus reincarnated, but I think it would go over better if he had intended to check it out after seeing orcus’ portraits, but pushed it back after the revelation, rather than acknowledging it and ignoring it.



    Interesting points, let’s discuss to make it better.

    My original thoughts in this.

    1) He is grasping at straws.
    2) He’s read a lot of mind invasion/possession science fiction
    3) He’s looking for an explanation as to where these memories are coming from.
    4) He “knows” he is not Orcus. He “knows” he’s a normal kid from New Jersey.
    5) Orcus was slain permanently, his animus completely eaten by the blackness in the dagger. Everyone assures him nothing was left.
    6) So even if he was wrong about being Orcus reborn, what was left to be reborn? Why did it take 4000 years?
    7) Everyone has gotten crazy ideas about what he’s up to, he feels like he is faking it, “knows” he is, so the D’Orcs must also be wrong.
    8) So where are these memories coming from? Why does he look like Orcus?
    9) Finally, the thought of he, himself being an “actual” historical mythological being, a demon from the Monster Manual is just too freaky/scary to contemplate, there has to be some other explanation and mental invasion/possession seems to be the easiest answer. “Someone/Thing” is trying to “make him Orcus” etc.

    Now, thinking on this/writing it out. It’s not clear that he is fully expressing all of this in the alpha version. Would more illumination on this chain help?

    Or is there some other thoughts/logic you have? Are there some better/more logical possibilities that you think he could come up with?

    Also: “How much do people enjoy following Tom’s thought processes/mental gymnastics?” Are these (when done correctly) helpful/enjoyable?


    Yeah, I think the denial and thought process going on through Tom’s mind was pretty clear, and understandable. It’s for people on the outside, who can see the objective view and have a looser relationship with the “facts”, that we can see that Tom is most likely some version of a reincarnation of Orcus.

    Though, there is something else. Most of the “new Orcus” stuff started after he got stabbed with the Dagger of Unlife. If the antimus of the dagger somehow devoured the animus of Orcus, and that was the only actual use the Dagger ever got, then couldn’t some vestige of Orcus have remained in the dagger? Then, when the “blackness” spread into Tom, it carried some parts of Orcus with it? Or reactivated a part of Orcus that was hidden in Tom’s bloodline? After all, Tom’s biological father has been mysteriously absent, so maybe an Incubus friend of Orcus saved some of his “seed” and has been spreading it over the multiverse, hoping that some of it would become an heir to Orcus.




    Definitely enjoyed seeing Tom struggle a bit with the possibility of being Orcus rather than just misunderstood. A couple of things that stuck out:

    1) At some point Tom’s anxiety over possibly being too paranoid starts to be repetitive if there is not some kind of resolution. I like that him being a teenager is finally addressed, but by the third or fourth shift to Tom’s perspective I was looking for some other plot movement. Seeing his own portrait was a fun additional payoff that ratcheted up the tension, but at some point it seems that Tom is just spinning his wheels.

    2) In the latter two volumes Tom seemed to get the opportunity to kick more ass, I definitely missed that. Using fire magic to sink ships, some hand to hand combat with knights rampant, I kept waiting for a bit of mayhem to break up Tom’s anxiety attacks in Apostles but became convinced it was going to be all bunched up at the end. Not sure if you can parachute some more demonic violence somewhere in the middle of the book (aside from flammable d’warg farts–loved that), but if so that would definitely fun to read and break up Tom’s primarily internal struggles.

    Anyhow, this was tons of fun to read!


    Well, Tom is moving to a more administrative role, rather than a boots on the ground type. It’s also shown that the visit to the library is how he was trying to center himself (though he doesn’t really get a chance to do that), and then he goes to the DoomSpa. So, these are his attempts at relaxing, though not much of it is actually shown. He isn’t really the type to destress by fighting, though he does know martial arts. (The martial training should also be brought up at some point.)


    Great points.

    I’ve sort of been holding off the mayhem for the last 20% because it’s all mayhem…and that’s what keeping me in “vision mode” and why it’s going so slow.

    It’s a huge huge battle with multiple perspectives and lots of stuff going on. It’s much bigger than any of the previous battles, much more complicated and it will go on for a bit…like–with run up–the last 20% of the book…so 30 to 40,000 words maybe?

    Unfortunately, I think I am reserving too much pay off for too late. Will definitely be ratcheting smaller events up sooner as I go back.

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